In these first two blogs of this oddest of springs and summers in New York, we’ve covered some basics about hernias, what they are, symptoms, who gets them, and the like. For this August blog, let’s get into some of the questions patients have after their hernia surgery repair by Dr. Jacob.
Since Dr. Jacob performs most of these surgeries using laparoscopic methods, recovery times and getting back to normal life are quicker than with open surgery. Not all hernias are suitable for laparoscopic surgery, however. The size, type, and location of the hernia can dictate the method Dr. Jacob needs to use.
Here are some common questions we hear as patients are moving forward after Dr. Jacob performs their hernia repair surgery.
What happens after hernia surgery? What will downtime be?
Full recovery after hernia surgery will take anywhere from 3-6 weeks. Laparoscopic methods will be easier and usually require at least one week less recovery time. Most patients can return to everyday activities and work in 1-2 weeks. But if your occupation involves lifting, those activities will need to wait for at least a month, probably 6 weeks.
Can a hernia come back?
A recurrent hernia is a hernia that occurs at the site of the previous hernia repair. This can happen due to various reasons, from generalized weakness beyond the original area to a return to heavy lifting too soon. Hernias recur in about 5 percent of cases.
Is there any way to avoid a recurrence?
Follow your post-surgery instructions clearly and fully. Don’t smoke. Avoid heavy lifting or use your knees and not your back. Don’t allow persistent coughs to linger. See your doctor — persistent coughing strains the repaired area. Beyond these things, however, there is often no obvious reason behind a recurrent hernia.
How long before I can play sports after hernia surgery?
If you have laparoscopic hernia surgery, you’ll be able to return to light activity after 1-2 weeks. Strenuous sports activity should wait until one full month passes.
When can I drive after hernia surgery?
After laparoscopic surgery, you’ll be able to drive in just a few days. The way you’ll know when you’re ready is pain. If you feel pain when getting into the driver’s seat, you’re not ready to drive yet.
When can I return to work after hernia surgery?
Patients should generally plan on missing between 1-2 weeks of work if they have laparoscopic hernia surgery. If you had open surgery, it can be 4-6 weeks. This depends on how big your hernia was and how difficult the repair. You may be able to return to work far sooner than these numbers; this depends on your body and your pain tolerance.
Regardless of your timeframe, lifting anything over 10 pounds will need to wait one month.